The importance of flu vaccines

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The 23rd Medical Group Immunizations Clinic began providing influenza Vaccinations to all retirees, dependents, and civilian personnel Oct. 3, 2011.

FluMist will be provided to all eligible persons between 2 and 49 years of age. Flu shots will only be provided for those younger than 2 years of age or older than 49 years of age, and those persons with specific medical conditions for which FluMist is contraindicated.

The Immunizations Clinic is a walk-in clinic and no appointment is needed. Clinic hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please contact the clinic at 229-257-4317 should you have any questions regarding the flu vaccine.

Don't want to get flu mist or flu shot? Please read on.

Getting the flu vaccine is important!
The reason it's hard to say exactly how many people die because of the flu is that it's often not listed as the official cause of death on death certificates- it's just listed as pneumonia. But flu can contribute to the deaths of people who are sick with something else, such as heart failure or lung disease.

The CDC says the 36,000 figure comes from an analysis of data from the 1990s, when a strains of flu virus known as H3N2, which tends to take a higher toll, was dominant.

In the new calculations, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
The average number of deaths was 23,607. But the CDC found that there was a very wide range, from as few as 3,349 died in the 1986 to 1987 flu season but as many as 49,614 in the 2003 to 2004 season.

Who should get vaccinated
On February 24, 2010 vaccine experts voted http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100224.htm
that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year starting with the 2010 to 2011 influenza season. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

1. Pregnant women
2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
3. People 50 years of age and older
4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

For more information please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.